14 Plants That Naturally Repel Mosquitoes, Flies and Other Pests

The most beautiful way to keep mosquitoes away from your home and garden… and almost all of them are edible too!


The following 14 common garden plants are both aesthetically and aromatically appealing to humans, while sending mosquitoes and other pesky bugs “running” for the hills.

Most of them are edible and/or medicinal.

Plant them near your doors and windows to keep mosquitoes from entering your home. Some of them can also be rubbed directly onto your skin or added into a homemade spray repellent.

1. Lavender

The aroma of lavender may be pleasant and relaxing to humans, but mosquitoes can’t stand it. If you’re going out for a walk in the evening, rub the plant onto your skin to release the oils.

2. Beebalm

Beebalm, or horsemint, gives off a strong odor that confuses and prevents mosquitoes from smelling us. Meanwhile it  attracts butterflies and bees. It’s also delicious and medicinal.

3. Pennyroyal

These beautiful purple flowers are so effective in repelling mosquitoes that some people crush their leaves and keep them in their pockets.

4. Basil

Adding basil to your garden can serve as more than a delicious addition to your Italian dinner.

You don’t need to rub this one on your skin like lavender. The scent is so strong, all you need to do is plant it around your windows and doors to keep the mosquitoes at bay.

5. Mint

Mint is another herb that’s super handy to have around for culinary and medicinal purposes, while simultaneously driving pesky bugs crazy.

Mint basically tends itself, so it requires essentially no work to grow. Just brush up against it from time to time to release its scent into the air.

6. Lemongrass

The distinct smell of lemongrass, or citronella grass, is so effective in repelling mosquitoes it’s used as the primary ingredient in many commercial mosquito repellents.

Make sure to avoid plants marketed as “citronella scented.” They’re not as the real plant.

7. Catnip

Studies have shown catnip to be more effective than DEET in repelling mosquitos.

Catnip contains the organic compound nepetalactone, which is what attracts cats, but repels bugs.

8. Floss Flower

The floss flower secretes an compound used in commercial mosquito repellents called coumarin that mosquitoes can’t stand.

It attracts gorgeous butterflies, while repelling all kinds of pesky bugs.

9. Marigolds

Marigolds serve the dual purpose of beautifying your garden and repelling pests.
They contain a compound used in commercial insect repellents called pyrethrum, which studies have also found to be as or more effective than DEET.

10. Garlic

Not only will the strong scent of the garlic plant itself scare away mosquitoes, eating it is thought to make your blood less tasty for mosquitoes.

11. Rosemary

Tossing rosemary into a fire create a pleasant odor for humans, while keeping mosquitoes and other disease-carrying far away.
Plant this herb in plenty of sun.

12. Geranium

Geraniums have a lemon-scented smell that repels mosquitoes, and have the double benefit of beautifying your garden.

Avoid this one if you have a dog though, as they are mildly toxic to dogs.

13. Eucalyptus

The oils from a eucalyptus tree repels all kinds of bugs, including mosquitoes and ticks.

Dab a few drops of this essential oil on your skin before heading out, and let the plant keep the bugs away from your home and yard.

14. The Mosquito Plant

Known as the mosquito plant, citrosum is believed to be just as effective as lemongrass in repelling blood-sucking insects.

Crush the leaves and put them in your pocket or rub them on your skin.